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Former Home to Michael Jackson and Marc Chagall Sells for $32 Million

NEW YORK — A six-story, beaux-arts mansion on the Upper East Side that was home to several prominent occupants, starting with President Grover Cleveland’s law partner and including artist Marc Chagall and pop star Michael Jackson, has sold for nearly $32 million.

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Vivian Marino
, New York Times

NEW YORK — A six-story, beaux-arts mansion on the Upper East Side that was home to several prominent occupants, starting with President Grover Cleveland’s law partner and including artist Marc Chagall and pop star Michael Jackson, has sold for nearly $32 million.

It was the most expensive closed sale in the month of October, according to New York City property records.

The seller, noteworthy in his own right, was Marc Lasry, the billionaire hedge fund manager and co-owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. He and his wife, Cathy Lasry, had listed the house at 4 E. 74th St. about a year ago for $39 million, then recently lowered it to $35 million. They bought it in 2001 for $11 million.

The new owner appeared to be Michael Thomas Danson, chief executive of GlobalData, a digital media company based in London. Public records show Danson took out a $15 million mortgage on the home.

This wasn’t the only property that sold for more than $30 million last month. Several blocks away, at the new condominium tower at 520 Park Ave., at 60th Street, a full-floor apartment was acquired for $31.5 million by an unknown buyer. The sponsor unit, No. 36, has about 4,600 square feet, with four bedrooms, five baths and views of Central Park. The limestone building, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, was developed by Zeckendorf Development; closings began in early September.

Nearby, Vornado Realty Trust’s 220 Central Park South, near 58th Street — another limestone tower designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects — had its first official closing last month: a three-bedroom, three-bath unit on the 26th floor that sold for $14.6 million.

In other notable October transactions, Alexander von Furstenberg, the son of the fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and Swiss-born aristocrat Egon von Furstenberg, bought an apartment at 432 Park Ave.

Trish Regan, an anchor on the Fox Business Network, and her husband, James A. Ben, an investment banker, sold their Fifth Avenue co-op.

Billionaire hedge fund manager William Ackman deeded yet another apartment, in SoHo, to his former wife, Karen Ackman, as part of an apparent property settlement. Also, Nancy Moonves, the ex-wife of Leslie Moonves, the ousted CBS chief executive, traded one Upper East Side co-op for another around the corner.

And in Chelsea, screenwriters Henry Bean and Leora Barish sold a town house with a private yoga studio.

The limestone-and-red brick mansion on East 74th Street, sold by Marc Lasry, sits on one of the neighborhood’s most desired streets, between Fifth and Madison avenues. It was designed at the turn of the 20th century by Alexander Welch and built for Francis Lynde Stetson and his wife, Elizabeth Ruff Stetson. Stetson was a law partner with Grover Cleveland between Cleveland’s two split terms as president.

Over the years, many residents have come and gone, including Chagall, who lived on the top floor with his wife, writer Bella Chagall, shortly after arriving in New York in 1941. They decorated their apartment with his artwork. Jackson rented the house for six months, from August 1999 to February 2000. (The asking rent was $75,000 a month in 1998.)

The building also has been featured on the big and small screens. It appeared in the 1991 film “The Prince of Tides,” starring Barbra Streisand, and more recently, had a recurring role in the “Gossip Girl” TV series that ran from 2007 to 2012.

The stately structure is 25 feet wide, with nearly 12,750 square feet of interior space including seven bedrooms, eight full baths, two half baths and staff quarters in the finished basement. Although the home was extensively renovated, many original architectural flourishes remain, like the high ceilings, detailed oak staircase, 10 wood-burning fireplaces, and wood floors, paneling and moldings. The exterior includes a private roof deck and a patio on the garden level.

Monthly taxes are nearly $10,000. Adam D. Modlin and Nina Tkachuk Perez of the Modlin Group were the listing brokers; Modlin also represented the buyer.

Von Furstenberg’s apartment at the 96-story 432 Park, between 56th and 57th streets on Billionaires’ Row, was purchased for $10.75 million.

The 1,789-square-foot unit on the 53rd floor has two bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths, as well as expansive cityscape views, according to the listing with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Von Furstenberg, who bought the apartment through a private trust, is also the founder and chief investment officer of the firm Ranger Global Advisors.

Regan, who is host of “Trish Regan Primetime,” and Ben sold their sixth-floor co-op at 1170 Fifth Ave., the James E.R. Carpenter-designed apartment house on Museum Mile across from Central Park. The sale price was $5.6 million. The couple bought the unit four years ago for nearly $4 million, then commenced a full renovation that included new soundproof windows, custom lighting, and oak and stone flooring, according to the listing with Warburg Realty.

The apartment has three bedrooms and four baths, along with a library that could be converted into another bedroom, and staff quarters. There are also three fireplaces.

Ackman, the founder of Pershing Square Capital Management, transferred a duplex penthouse at 420 West Broadway to his former wife, Karen Ackman, a landscape architect and artist whom he divorced last year. The deal for this apartment at the SoHo Gallery Building, between Spring and Prince streets, was valued in public records at $7 million. The unit, though, had been on the market for $17 million, the same price Ackman paid for it in 2015.

The nearly 3,600-square-foot penthouse, on the sixth and seventh floors, has two bedrooms, two full and two half baths, as well as a study that could be converted into a bedroom, according to the Douglas Elliman listing. There are 2,740 square feet of exterior space, including a rooftop terrace with a wood-burning fireplace and wet bar, and a terrace off the master suite that has a hot tub and two outdoor showers.

In September, William Ackman deeded to Karen Ackman a duplex at the Beresford co-op, at 211 Central Park West between 81st and 82nd streets. That transaction was valued at $15 million.

On the Upper East Side, Nancy Moonves, who was married to the former CBS chief for about 26 years, sold a ninth-floor apartment at 125 East 63rd Street for $2.2 million. The unit has two bedrooms and two baths. She closed on another two-bedroom, two-bath unit at 563 Park Avenue, at 62nd Street, paying almost $3.6 million.
In Chelsea, Bean and Barish sold 240 West 21st St. for nearly $6.4 million. The 20-foot-wide, four-story town house, initially listed for $7 million last year, has 3,600 square feet. It includes five bedrooms, 3 1/2, and a yoga studio overlooking the rear garden, according to the Douglas Elliman listing.

Barish is best known for her work on the film “Desperately Seeking Susan,” starring Madonna. She and Bean collaborated on other movies, including “Basic Instinct 2,” starring Sharon Stone.

Also closing in October: Howard Lorber, the chief executive of the Vector Group, the parent company of Douglas Elliman, and his wife, Thea Lorber, paid $11.7 million for a 10th-floor apartment at 620 Park Ave., at 65th Street.

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